As a manager, part of your job is to mentor your company’s next generation of leaders. It’s a task that’s certainly easier said than done. However, considering the fact that it’s often far less expensive – and more beneficial – to develop leaders from within, it’s an investment worth making.

To help you elevate your young leaders to the next level, here are 5 mentoring tips to follow:

Tip #1: Offer stretch assignments.

Stretch assignments sound just like what they are – opportunities for employees with growth potential to stretch themselves in new and different ways. The purpose is to educate, inspire and push people past their existing skill level. Even if someone fails, stretch assignments can still offer valuable lessons and boost confidence. Throughout the assignment, just be sure to offer adequate support and frequent feedback.

Tip #2: Create a formal mentorship program.

As a leading executive search firm in Sacramento, CA, Pacific ExecSearch knows it’s important to set clear guidelines from the start when creating a formal mentoring program. For instance, participants should be instructed to determine the mechanics of the relationship – when and where they will meet and how they will communicate outside those meetings. They should also spend some time getting to know each other – talking about work styles, backgrounds and personalities – before jumping into specific issues.

In addition, be sure to:

  • Create a clear purpose and potential outcomes
  • Set reasonable expectations
  • Match the right mentor and mentee
  • Define roles and responsibilities
  • Develop a mentoring agreement
  • Stress confidentiality

Tip #3: Encourage informal mentoring.

When you think about mentoring, most people conjure an image of a senior leader mentoring a younger employee. This is certainly one model for mentoring.

But don’t discount a younger professional’s ability to mentor veteran employees as well. For instance, younger employees are oftentimes more technologically adept and may be able to offer key insights and help to senior employees in this and other areas. So support informal mentoring opportunities, as well, such as training sessions and brown-bag lunches.

Tip #4: Rotate high potential employees between jobs.

Give your high potential employees first-hand experience in different roles throughout the company. When you do, they’ll not only gain exposure to various departments – and new perspectives and insights as a result, but they’ll have a better overall understanding about the company as a whole.

Tip #5: Create a culture of learning and mentoring.

Outside of formal mentoring programs, encourage company leaders to evaluate their employees and look for ways to help each one grow on the job.

Do you need help accessing this generation’s top leaders? Contact Pacific ExecSearch. As a trusted executive search firm in Sacramento, CA, we have extensive experience in sourcing, evaluating and helping companies hire mission critical professionals for executive level positions.

To learn more about how we can help your organization, please contact us today.